On Monday, October 13, Mississippi Market broke ground on their new store at the old Hospital Linen site at Maple and East 7th Street. This momentous occasion follows months of community meetings with topics spanning from the design of the building and new jobs, all the way to equity and diversity of their staff. Not only has Mississippi Market been actively engaged in building community partnerships prior to formally purchasing the property, they have also hired Diversity and Equity Consultant Lisa Tabor, owner of CultureBrokers® LLC, to help move their staff, training programs, and company policies to reflect their commitment to being a store that resembles the communities they are in.
I recently participated in their Diamond Inclusiveness Assessment conducted by CultureBrokers® LLC and DIAworks, and attended the staff briefing announcing the results and company plans to address some areas to improve. This assessment was taken by 57 people including staff, board members, partners, vendors, customers, and members. Mississippi Market plans to do an additional assessment in one year to benchmark progress made in the areas the assessment pointed out. Mississippi Market general manager Gail Graham said, “The DIA is not something we will put on a list and scratch it off when it’s done. It is how we will be doing business from now on, continuing the work with the consultant to implement new policies and training programs around diversity and equity. This is just the beginning.”
Mississippi Market plans to be open for business by fall of 2015 in Dayton’s Bluff and I believe they will be a store that is inclusive to all in our community based on the relationships I see them developing cross-culturally throughout our community. ESABA for one will be one of those partners helping connect them to our vibrant community.
Tim Herman is the Executive Director of the East Side Area Business Association.